Measuring PR Initiatives Part II

Jun 19, 2013

1. Advertising equivalent:

How much would the same print space or broadcast segment time cost if you had to pay for it?

2. Number of impressions

How many people might have seen this segment or read our placement? Did other publications pick up this article as well (was it syndicated?)

3. How many might be in our target audience?

4. Website statistics
Google analytics is useful here

5. How many unique visitors have accessed our site since the media relations initiative started?
  • Compared to number of visitors the month before? 
  • Compared to visitors in the same timeframe last year?
6. Website ranking
Since the PR campaign began: on, for example
7. Has our search ranking gone up or down? (With Alexa, down is positive.)
8. Uptick in leads, revenue and/or donations
Compared to last month
Compared to the same period last year
9. Attitude change
Compared to last surveyed attitudes/beliefs
Compared to attitudes in the overall market or sample
10. Content analysis
  • How many of our key messages made it into this article or segment?
  • How many times was our name mentioned?
  • Competitors mentioned? 
  • Was the article positive overall? 
  • Was there a call to action or was our website link published so the audience can take the next step and contact us?
  • Did the same (or condensed version) appear online as well?


Measuring PR Initiatives

Mar 13, 2013

Ms. Paine, one of the best known PR measurement experts, almost single-handedly expanded the methodologies and effectiveness of measuring communication campaigns.

Years ago, the PR world was all about the race for "clips." How many articles did we generate? How many clips can we give our client? Katie Paine retired this notion. As a result, measurement is now far more comprehensive and telling.

My next entry discusses past practices focused on impressions and, yes, clips. Next I'll discuss how Ms. Paine changed this aging paradigm for good.


Selling Technology to Lawyers: Published by

Dec 17, 2012

Customer Reference Programs: The Missing Link

For Marketing Technology to Law Firms

By Mark Bruce President, HiTechPR


Law firms are steeped in tradition; with a few notable exceptions their senior partners and CIOs are not early adapters of new technology. However, despite well-earned reputations as modernization-resistant institutions, most are moving steadily but slowly into the 21stcentury. How slowly? According to a 2012 American Bar Association technology survey of firms with over 500 lawyers, just 15 percent had tried cloud computing, 41 percent did not back up their computer files and only 4 percent had acquired new business through blogging or social media. For technology vendors, this reluctance is often reflected in frustrating, slow-moving sales cycles.

To win over the ultimate decision makers in the legal tech community—CIOs and senior partners—marketers must think like lawyers. They are verbal, text-oriented, analytical and trained to identify problems and their possible causes. For those of us tasked with selling to this market, these are welcome attributes. Introducing innovative software, hardware and consulting services to practicing attorneys can most effectively be accomplished by making a strong case for why and how the product or service can increase the firm’s bottom line: its ability to serve its clients, generate billable hours and improve the way information is generated, processed and disseminated.

 But what specific marketing strategies work best?

Not long ago, to increase awareness marketers were primarily limited to buying advertising. To be even modestly effective, advertising must be repetitive and pervasive, making it the most expensive marketing tactic. Aside from sky-high costs, ads are not often taken seriously by tough, skeptical and conservative legal professionals. That said, there is a place for advertising—it’s just more effective after a product or service has an established market... Read more »


PR Strategy Affect PR Outcomes?

Apr 30, 2012

The short answer is that, if you're a technology firm, for example, you likely have a marketing strategy aimed at persuading technological savvy users and IT folks to test your product--sometimes in parallel with current systems. Why bother? Because this particular market values the information they glean from these tests. In the same way, PR strategy informs the entire team in terms of goals, objectives and tactics; everyone can move forward in a synchronized fashion.

If we know exactly what we want our audience to do and we know the composition of our publics as well, then creating analyst presentations, PR materials and media contact profiles--all fall into place.

However, if the strategy is "write a press release and get it out there," don't expect outstanding results. In fact, you shouldn't expect much of anything. This empty goal often creates the opposite effect--a conclusion that "PR isn't cutting it for our firm."

That said, there are three basic reasons to compose and distribute a release: 1. For enhancing SEO.  2. Publicly held firms must abide by full disclosure rules and sending out a release to a specific audience is mandatory. 3. For background, so reporters/producers have basic information they can refer to.

Privately held firms are not obligated to send news releases to anyone.

Mark Bruce/HiTechPR


A Press Release is a Tactic--Not a Strategy

Mar 15, 2012

Many of our technology PR, health care and start-up clients believe (or start out believing) a compelling press release written like an ad is their entre to industry analysts and major trade and business media coverage. When nothing happens after they've sent out their releases, blogged and tweeted the information, they often give up on PR as a viable marketing strategy. 

Even if they're professionally written, PR releases are good for two things--SEO and background for an article or mention. That's it. Don't count on a release to get you meaningful coverage.   

What is the alternative? How does my team, for example, consistently generate award-winning coverage for our clients in major trade publications, analyst research notes, broadcast and mainstream business media? What's our secret sauce?   

In two words: Strategic Planning.

We work with a plan that's defined by our clients' objectives. For example, in technology PR and product launches, the key to success is creating a formal customer reference program that supports the PR function. What's the connection?

The first question any analyst or top tier editor, reporter or producer asks is: Your idea (or your solution or product) sounds incredible--can I speak to a customer?

Next--it's so predictable--it takes unprepared, scurrying marketing folks days and sometimes weeks and far more than a phone call or two to make this happen.

Most say at the start every customer they have is a media contact; when often none in fact are. By working proactively--before a release is written, we help our clients bulk up their customer references with a formal CRP so their PR programs are far more successful.

More on strategic PR and customer reference initiatives in the next entry.